Music, growing, chatter, and last minute!

1) To remember to grab my headphones before leaving the house. Once I’d taken the kids to school I set off, listening to music as I walked along. It was exactly the start to the day I needed.

2) To go outside and check out on the vegetable bed and see the rows of green shoots poking through the soil – so much has come through during the few days we were away.

3) a) To listen to the three children in the back seat of the car happily chatting away about various school happenings, on the way home from M’s Dancing Display.

b) On the way to bed, A mentioned something about this year’s school Prize Giving. I explained that, as invitations are only issued to prize winners and we hadn’t received any notification that he’d won a prize this year, we had made no plans to attend. He looked confused for a moment and then explained he had won a prize*, and went on to produce a somewhat crumpled letter from the bottom of his school bag…

I’m just glad he remembered tonight, given that the Prize Giving is tomorrow evening! Thankfully K is able to go – M and I will be at the second night of the Dancing Display.

* For those interested, we are not told what the prize is until during the event.

Recover, new book, and questions.

1) My morning routine and walk to school were pretty relaxed this morning but, as I walked to and from school, I passed several poor parents shepherding screaming children to school and nursery*. I really hoped that, once they’d dropped the children off, they were able to go home, have a cup of tea, and recover from their fraught morning.

2) Upon opening her mail, M received a book sent to her by her NZ grandparents. She sat down to read it almost immediately, and was later heard exclaiming to K  “Daddy, Daddy, I’ve read my new book and it’s fantastic!”. Thanks Nan and Grandad! 🙂

3) It’s too warm and A can’t get to sleep. He curls up on the sofa, drinks a cup of hot chocolate, all the time asking questions about life, the universe, and everything.

* This is not a normal occurence… we must be getting close to the end of term!

Weekend fun in the sun

1) We had a lovely weekend at home – time to garden, time to relax, time to cook, time to walk/cycle, and time just to be together.

2) We went out on a couple of walks, both from home.  A and M chose to ride their bikes both days – they had lots of fun.

45 min: LauristonOut for a bike ride

3) On Sunday evening, A decided to assist with cooking dinner – he made pork stir-fry. Here he is carefully cooking each piece of meat and putting it on the rack to avoid overcooking. Check out the concentration, and I can assure you it was worth it, as the meal was delicious!

Aidan - cooking pork stir-fryAidan cooking dinner

Restoring order, working hard, and growing up.

1) I realise I’m probably in a minority here, but part of me loves Monday mornings – a time to catch up, clean up, tidy up.

2) Thanks in part to the kids working hard to get ahead on their chores this evening, the house is now fairly clean and tidy, laundry done, packed lunches made, and I feel ready for my evening, and my week.

3) A struggles a little with a part of his homework this afternoon – a situation which, six months ago, would have reduced him to tears. He battles on however and, a little while later, finds the solution himself. He’s growing up. 🙂

An upside-down weekend.

With A away for the weekend, we wanted to spoil M a little – she was missing her big brother a lot 🙁 .

1) We made doughnuts for breakfast on Saturday, using my Nana’s recipe. They tasted as good as I remembered them tasting, even though we didn’t have a silver thimble to make the hole in the middle, and had to use a tiny cookie cutter instead.

In the evening, we went out for dinner, and then a walk along the canal. It was all very grown up, even if M did forget to bring her coat – she looked very cute dancing along in Daddy’s fleece though!

2) During the day, M helped me make Lemon Drizzle cake and Malteser slice, for church youth group on Sunday. We had a beautiful walk at Plean Country Park too – the rhodedendrons were blooming, and were glorious.

3) At Youth group this morning, we had a visit from a couple who spent 17 years living and working with a tribe living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. During that time they translated the New Testament into the local language – quite a feat, considering the language had never been written down before!  It was an absolutely fascinating talk – I could have listened to their stories for hours!

4) A arrived home mid-afternoon, having had a wonderful time at camp. My brother came over, and we took advantage of the lovely weather and had a barbeque for dinner. Two tired children are now in bed 🙂 .

Picnic, colour, and camp.

1) It’s a lovely sunny day, so the kids and I share a picnic lunch out on the deck.

2) The garden is, if anything, more colourful than it was when I left on Tuesday 🙂 .

3) Waving my big boy off, as he goes to his first every Scripture Union camp. Two nights away – he’s never been away so long before!

I miss him already.

Blossom, it’s okay, and growing up.

1) A friend took me on one of her favourite walks this morning: “… and you should see this avenue when the trees are in blossom…”, she enthused, as she led me by a blossom-tree-lined avenue, just before the trees burst into flower. I’m very tempted to drive back over in a few days time, just to see the trees.

2)  Being able to reassure my dad that, contrary to what he’d heard (having been out of the UK for the last four days), the weather forecast was not for it to be 4degC tomorrow, but a sunny 12degC instead!

3) My wee boy is growing up, becoming a young man before my very eyes, but he still occasionally says or does things which amuse. Tonight one such conversation occurred and, while part of me would love to tell you about it, I’m not going to – occasionally he reads what I write here, and I would hate for him to feel embarrassed!

So instead, I’ll tell you about something he did. If you read my post yesterday, you will know that he carefully weeded one of the two raised vegetable beds. As soon as he got home from school this afternoon, with no further prompting from me, he went straight out (before he’d even had afternoon tea) and completely cleared the other one too!!  Well, I say completely, but really one tiny silver beet plant had struggled through from last year, and he left that, carefully surrounded by spikes (to stop the cats sitting on it).

Playing, Arts Showcase, and flowers.

1) A morning being entertained by a baby and a toddler 🙂 … It’s only been six years, but I’d forgotten just how exhausting this can be!

2) It’s the P4/P5 Arts Showcase at school this afternoon. A had told me that he didn’t have very much of a part in the drama his class performed. Imagine my surprise then to discover that he’s the stage manager, and seems to have the major role in the production! He was word-perfect, and completely audible throughout – definitely a proud mum moment 🙂 .

3) I’m loving seeing gardens filled with bright, beautiful blooms – tulips and primulas, primroses and pansies (& lots of others!).

Bargain, trustworthy, and homework.

1) When you arrive at the till and discover that the item you planned to buy is actually half the marked price. That. 🙂

2)  A migraine descends and my vision goes weird. I’m very grateful to have two responsible children as I have retire to my bed for a while to await the effects of the drugs kicking in.

3) Once a month, the children are requested to perform a “resilience” task as part of their homework. The concept behind this seems to be to encourage them to become more independent.

Today, after serious discussion, we decided that their task would be to walk to the shop together (about a ten minute walk) and then to buy a packet of biscuits (we didn’t need bread or milk!). This was all timed to coincide with K walking past the shop on his way back from the train, and then they would all walk home together.

It was all good, until they got to the shop and discovered it was closed owing to a power failure! Still, given another of the “resilience” tasks is “coping with frustrating situations”, and we figured they’d handled the whole thing extremely well, I think we can safely mark that particular piece of homework as “done” 🙂 .